We ourselves are made of a kind of wax, just as the honey-comb forms the marvellous structure we find in the hive.
So this is how it is. Man has a head, and this head works upon his great body which is actually a “bee-hive” and contains in its relationship between the albuminous cells (which remain round) and the blood, the same connection that exists in the bee-hive between the Queen and the worker-bees. Our nerves are continually destroyed; we continually use up our nervous system. We do not immediately kill our nerves — as the bees kill the drones — for in this case we should die every year, but, none the less, our nerves get weaker every year, and it is through this gradual weakening of the nerves, that man really dies. We are then no longer able to experience our body rightly; a man is actually always dying from the wearing out of his nerves.
When you look at the head — which represents the hive — you find that here all is well protected. If one injures one's head, it is a serious matter; the head cannot bear it. Equally, what happens through the presence of the new Queen — who is there by reason of the marriage flight — is something the bees cannot endure; they prefer to go away rather than remain with her.
This is why bee-keeping has always been regarded as profoundly significant. Man takes away from the bees — perhaps 20% of their honey — and one can justly say that this honey is extremely valuable to man, for with his ordinary food he gets very little honey because honey is distributed in such very small quantities in the plant-world. We get only minute quantities of honey into our bodies in this way.
We also have “bees” within us, namely, our blood, which carries the honey to the various parts of our body. It is honey that the bee needs for producing wax, out of which it then makes the “body” of the colony.
As we grow older, honey has an extremely favourable effect upon us. With children, it is milk that has a similar effect; honey helps us to build our bodies and is thus strongly to be recommended for people who are growing old. It is an exceedingly wholesome food; only one must not eat too much of it! If one eats too much of it, using it not merely as a condiment, one can make the formative forces too strongly active. The form may then get too rigid, and one may develop all kinds of illnesses. A healthy man feels just how much honey should take. Honey is particularly good for older people because it gives the body the right firmness.